August 29, 2014

Happy Fridays.

Do you ever have those days where you feel so overwhelmed with blessings that a smile wont leave your face?
Its one of those days.
So thankful for days like these.
As I sip down my perfectly brewed French vanilla coffee, I simply focus my thoughts and praises to God. I sit in awe just thinking of this life.
Honestly, I wish I did this everyday, but sometimes the selfish part of me takes over.
 
I normally have a very hectic morning routine. I wake up an hour before work, get ready in about 20 minutes and then I'm out the door, on the interstate and getting just as much road rage and frustration built up like everyone else around me. I live in a city where they think something needs to have construction done every other year, so yes, that really adds to the chaos.
Driving the interstate in the morning would put me in a mood I didn't want to start my day out with so a few days ago I decided to try a new route. This new way is all on the back roads where it is much less traffic and super relaxing. It reminds me to slow down. Sometimes we need to do something so simple as just changing our route in the mornings to start off a morning praising Him and reminiscing on all our blessings than yelling at others who cant hear you and constantly being uptight from the traffic backups.
This morning I drove to work on my new route. The sun was barely breaking through the clouds and there was a gorgeous gaze over a field where I saw a family full of some huge deer. For some reason things like that just get to me. I am the easiest person in the world to please and just seeing things like deer in a field in front of a beautiful sunrise just makes me swoon.
Cheesiest person right here
But I love it. I love that small things like that can make me be thankful. Once I think of one blessing, I start going onto another and another.
I don't deserve anything. But Christ continues to give and give. We live in a world where we think we aren't blessed. We think our lives are torn apart and we are poor because we don't have a certain car, we don't live in the most expensive neighborhoods or because we strive to get by. But let me tell you, if you have a relationship with Christ, you are beyond rich. You have more than this world could ever give you.
I often think of celebrities who take their own lives. They have anything they want at their fingertips, but yet they are still unhappy. You can purchase your dream car tomorrow but I promise after a few months, you will be looking for something else to satisfy you.
Without Christ, there is no way to be fulfilled.
This is something that has hit me on the head pretty hard the past few months. There have been trips that have been canceled, things that I would get frustrated with Christ about, but just this past month, it has literally amazed me at why these things happened. He is showing me why things happen like they do because He always, always has a bigger and better plan (more on that later)
I have learned to slow down, to seek, to have faith and to praise. I feel like this has been the repetitive saying on my blog for the past month but it is something that I am being effected by so I cant help but to write about it.
 
Remember to be content. At the end of this life, what will matter? No car, no amount of money, no purse, no job, none of that. The only thing that will matter is your relationship with Christ. Strive to live for Him. Focus all your attention on His face and accept the blessings that are given. Don't let them pass by because of greed.
Stop and look around you this weekend.
Stop and only seek Him.
 
Tonight Sean and I will be attending a football game with friends at school in our city. As you may have read on my last post, our church has a partnership with this school and they have these Blue Out events every year where we tailgate, wear blue and cheer on this team while we fellowship with their families. I am ready to have fun, encourage this team, slow down and look at the blessings around me.
To have my husband by my side with friends and family surrounding, He continues to amaze me.
 I am so thankful to be overwhelmed by His presence today.
 
Psalm 105: 1
Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
    Let the whole world know what he has done Lord

August 25, 2014

Life // Updates

Hello sweet friends!
If you read some of my previous posts, you know that August has just been a bit overwhelming. Why? I'm not exactly sure but it seems like a lot of ladies were feeling the same way around our little blog community. So, I took a week off. It was unexpected but it was much needed. I studied deeply in the word, I did things that needed to be completed before school starting back and I just enjoyed relaxing. Today, I am feeling SO refreshed and ready to go. BUT there are still many emails and comment requests I am sending so please be patient :)
Church has been pushing and pushing me. I just love it. I continually grow prouder of my church and I wish I could send everyone here to attend a service with me. They are the most loving, generous and spirit filled people I have ever seen. On Friday, Sean and two of our friends will be attending a high school football game. This school is an underprivileged school in our city and our church just pours out love for them. We will tailgate, wear our best football attire and just scream our heads off for this team. Seeing everyone come together and reach out to our community brings so much joy to me. Our city is definitely tough sometimes and sharing love like this is what will help it grow.
My husband. My goodness my husband. He is blowing me away. He is leading and challenging me more than anyone or anything ever has. He is putting everything he has into following Christ and he is just perfect at doing it (bias?) I have grown such a new, deeper relationship with him in the past month than in the past six years. He has such a love for everyone he sees and he does all things through Christ. Of course he has been like this for as long as I have known him but I think there comes a point in someone's life when the relationship with Christ really becomes a reality and hits hard. For the past two months I have seen him pray harder and grow this new relationship with Christ than he had before. I am so thankful for him and he continually makes me so proud to be his wife.
School started today and my classes already seem crazy yet fun. I am ready to dive deep and do the best this semester. I cant believe my years of college are coming to a close ending but I plan to make the most out of my last semesters. Because of the class craziness, I will only be posting on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. It will be a better choice for both my blog and school :)
My followers. You are all incredible. I could repeat it ten times. I have received more encouraging emails and comments in the past months and you ladies literally make my days. I never thought I would have such a connection with blogging and I never thought I would build relationships like I have. You following means the world to me and I mean that with every ounce I have. To think that someone cares about my little posts and cares about my little life. You all are just precious to me!
My blog will have some future changes coming soon. Like I said, I'm going to focus on getting in the hang of school but after things calm down, I plan to start my sponsorships and get a new look for this space of mine. Two things that I am SO excited about!
For today, just a small update for me. I feel like it was better to explain things going on the past week than say nothing at all. I hope August is getting easier for us all and just remember, September and new beginnings are just around the corner.

August 15, 2014

Life // Slowing Down.

(credit)
Dust particles slowly passing through the room as the grey sky begins to turn brighter. Our dogs waking up, stretching and yawning as their little tummies begin to growl. Sean breathing heavily in his sleep with a little snore every now and then. A cool fan blowing a soft breeze and swirling around the smell of fresh linens.
This morning, I paid more attention to the small things. Because honestly, its so easy to have zero attention to small things. We live in a world where we are on time schedules 24/7. We have our early morning routines and our plans already planned out for the weekend. So instead of running myself this weekend, I've decided to make myself slow down and enjoy the small things again. I love stopping to take notice because its a refreshment in a way. It makes me realize how truly blessed we are, how content things are.
I love to be still and see His creations, to feel His presence.
 
Psalm 46:10
“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”

As you may have noticed, I haven't been blogging all five days this week. I've decided to only blog three (possibly four) days a week. With my full time job and almost full time school, I don't want to cram myself. I need to have my quiet time and I need to slow things down and enjoy rather than keeping myself on this tight schedule. I hope you will still follow along and I think it will also be great for my blog. A continued love will be for blogging than a "I have to blog" feeling.
 
Sean has been leading me spiritually more than ever. I have never felt so challenged as I have felt this past month and it just grows my love for him even more. I see him stopping all he does to spend time in the word and read in his Priority Time book. It makes me realize that the laundry can wait and that I really need to put my number one priority into His word as well.
 
Colossians 3:2 
"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth."

At this point in my life, I feel like I am going through a deep spiritual growing. I grew up throughout my life focusing on religion than a relationship with Christ. I would stress myself out for not being good enough. Since we have joined our new church, I have learned that I am good enough, that I don't have to be perfect to have any deep relationship with Christ. I have really been transitioning myself from this train of thought. I've always been a Christian, but in a way I feel like I am just now becoming a true Christian and learning what it is all about, if that makes sense. I thought I was the only one going through this but Sean showed me a sermon back from last year that one of our preachers did called Unstuck.
So thankful for that boy.
The sermons are about persevering, about following Christ, about spending time with Him and about gaining a relationship. To focus all on Him than on these things on earth. These things on earth are just things. We go through life thinking we need this car, this outfit, this job, this thing in order to be happy. But after the excitement of receiving this "thing" goes away, then what?
Nothing can satisfy us like Christ satisfied us. Nothing will make us content except for a strong relationship with Him and Him only.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
 
So, rather than being on a tight schedule, rather than thinking I need to do this or that instead of my priority time, its stopping. How can I be a good wife to my husband, a good example for others, a loving person and a good mother to my future babies if I don't spend time with Christ? He is the one that makes all paths straight, He is the one who will take me where I need to go in life. Without Him, I cant do anything on my own and I cant plan my life on my own. So rather than having this busyness in my life, rather than driving myself crazy by literally becoming exhausted, I will slow down. I will take note of the small things than completely missing them.

We have a pretty packed weekend ahead of us from a birthday cookout tonight, one of my best friend's wedding on Saturday followed by church and a baby shower on Sunday. I cant wait to just slow down and look around the room at how happy everyone is and how blessed we are to be surrounded by the ones we love and I highly encourage you to do the same this weekend.
Grab a blanket, go to a park and read in His word. Go sit on a hill and marvel at these creations. Close your eyes and listen to your loved ones around you. Take time to talk with someone than just walking right by. Stop worrying about what to do this afternoon or what tomorrow will bring. 
 Just spend time with Christ
Just look at all the blessings surrounding you
Just be still.

Psalm 1: 1-3 
"Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of the mockers, but those whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither- whatever they do prospers."

August 13, 2014

Coffee Date // Vol. 5

Today it is time for another wonderful Community Brew with two of my favorite ladies, Rachel of Oh, Simple Thoughts and Madison of Wetherills Say I Do.
If you are a new follower, every month these two ladies host a link-up in order to build community within many blogs. Sometimes we talk about marriage, sometimes we talk about life in general, but today, we are having an open discussion on whatever topic we want to talk about and the focus is on what Christ is teaching us for the month.
Yall, August has been rough. Not by any event, I have just been feeling in the dumps. I cant get myself to do hardly anything but want to rest. Work has been much more demanding lately and I know its about to get harder with school starting in just 12 days.
Ehh...
Oh, and just let me be honest. The whole anniversary trip cancelation just bummed me out even more.
There are emails that I need to respond to, projects that I need to finish, laundry to do, dishes to wash...my list could go on and on. I feel like I come home exhausted but make myself even more exhausted by my overflowing to do list and honestly, my priorities are just not where they need to be for this month.

My preacher came out with this book called Priority Time: Addicted to God's Word. It is a devotion that teaches you how to read the bible and how to spend time with Christ. Let me tell you, this book and series came at the perfect time for me.

On Sunday, our preacher described priority time as "a daily, unhurried, inspired time to read the word of God in order to know the God of the word." It is so easy to push away priority time. When I come home from work, I just want to catch up on some Netflix or take a small nap. But without setting my priorities to Christ first, no other priorities will be managed right.
Priority time with God determines all other priorities.

As Christ followers, we are told to go out into the world and tell others about Jesus. To spread His love, compassion, and tell others about spending an eternal life with him. If I am not on top of my priority time, spending time with God and listening to Him, then how can I tell someone else to do the same?
I have signed up to serve in the 7-8th grade girls Sunday morning classes and I am also a part of Rave Ministries which ranges from high school to college girls.
I NEED my priority time. I need to be knowledgeable for these girls. They are going to come to me for help or questions about salvation and who am I to help if I don't even help myself?

1 Peter 2:2
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation
I'm ready for a fresh, new start. I'm tired of fighting the world on my own and I'm tired of overwhelming myself with things that "have" to be done. All of that can wait while priority time cant.
From many blogs I have read, it seems like July and this beginning of August have been a bit overwhelming for a lot of us. Let us all encourage one another  and let us all remind each other to focus on Him so everything else will lay out before us.
Crave the word of Christ. Listen to Him and let priority time not be quiet, but be loud by what He is teaching you.

August 11, 2014

Weekend Recap

I have grown up in a barn or around horses my ENTIRE life. From just about as far back as I can remember, there was some sort of horse in my life at every point. I am a girl who can go out to a barn all day, get sneezed on, nibbled at, attacked by flies, smelling like a horse and be 110% satisfied.
Attractive right?
Yesterday, Sean and I went to a barn I used to regularly go to. Having him with me when I go makes him want just as much land as I do so we can get a horse and relax in the country.
( I FINALLY got him to agree with how perfect the country life would be! )
 This little guy, Owen, is a one year old stud that absolutely STOLE my heart. He just loved Sean and followed us everywhere we walked. I claimed him to be my barn horse until I can purchase him one of these days ;) He is a Tennessee Walking horse which means he is going to be huge and with his sweet personality, he would be the perfect horse.
(Please excuse the horrible IPhone photos)
Since I no longer have a horse, I have serious horse fever. Thankfully my parent's neighbor practically raised me at a barn and lets me come anytime I want. Yesterday she told me the good news of an open arena we have around town!
Until one day when I get my perfect horse ( or two)...
...I will happily be going to the barn to be with that precious Owen.
This post has literally no point I know, but I am still on a happy streak from being out there yesterday. I just love all those precious babies and I love the fact that Sean is all for one some day.
He sure knows the way to a ladies heart :)

August 7, 2014

Photo Update // Vol. 4

I am beginning to realize that I am a pretty lucky girl when it comes to my husband modeling for me. He never gripes, he never gets annoyed, he just lets me tell him what to do and he does it.
Thank goodness.
On Tuesday, I was having my usual need to pick up my camera. So we went to Midtown area next to a gorgeous art museum and took photos.
Afterwards we went to my parents house, which I like to think of as"the farm."
There are animals everywhere (which I just love) and this little guy is a stray kitten who is a little timid of people.
There is also this stray pup (called Nancy) that hangs around their house. Luckily, their neighbor adopted her and she now has a forever home. She is just precious as can be.
Nothing fancy, just a little update. If I begin to drive you nuts with so many updates, let me know
I apologize in advance.
P.S.- Still learning how to color, don't judge me :)
You all have a fabulous Thursday!

August 6, 2014

Currently


1. So inspired by my preacher and his words of wisdom
2. My sister's kitten...PERFECT
3. Missing my best friend today! I cant wait for our dinner on Thursday
4. Wanting to leave work and put this thing back in my hands

Today, I am linking up with Jenna and Anne on a fun, new linkup! If you would like to link up as well, be sure to take a step into their blogs!

Reading Priority Time: Addicted to God's word. Our preacher, Chris Conlee, created this marvelous 21 day devotion on how to have priority time with God. Needless to say, I'm reading well above the scheduled, 21 days time. I just cant put this book down. Lately, I have really wanted to learn on deeper ways to study in my bible and deeper ways to spend time with God. Well, this book was literally put in my hands at the perfect time.
P.S.- If it sounds like a devotion you may be interested in, you can purchase a copy right here.

 Enjoying fresh fruit and veggies from our local Farmer's Market. This week I have tasted the best tomatoes and peaches than ever before in my life. Not exaggeration about that. I cant wait to go back on Saturday and stock up on yummy fruits, veggies and organic meat. I just love that little market.
Oh, and my sister's kitten Martha. I just LOVE her precious little self. All she wants is to snuggle and have her belly rubbed. I could just spend all day curled up to that little perfect thing.
Photographing everything! I took photos of my handsome guy yesterday (I cant wait to show you!) and hopefully I will be photographing more today. I feel so incredible when I am behind my camera and I highly annoy everyone by wanting to take photos of everything :)

Feeling overwhelmed, but that is my fault. I am feeling that little stressed feeling of needing to clean, needing to meal plan, needing to do laundry, needing to relax. Just needing. I hate it when I get caught up in the "needing to do" feelings. Yet, I am so excited to have dinner with my best friend on Thursday. I can take any stress, anger or joy to her and she just listens to it all. I am so thankful for this girl and our incredible friendship!

Listening to The Civl Wars. Theses two are like angels singing together and after they announced their official breakup yesterday, my heart has been pretty broken. They are such pure talent and I was definitely hoping for a reunion tour than a breakup, but they were more than incredible while they lasted.
Be sure to link up and share what is currently going on with you!
Also, HUGE thank you to all of my new followers! All of you just make my day and it means so much that you would like to follow this little blog of mine. Much love to you all :)

August 4, 2014

Life // I am incredibly selfish sometimes.

Trip is paid for, bags are nearly packed, packets of things to do are sitting on the counter, 39 days until we leave....then everything changes. This weekend was a tough one. As I have mentioned over and over, Sean and I were planning to be in Panama Beach this September for our anniversary. Well, we have been keeping a close eye on the news because there is an issue going on with a high level of flesh eating bacteria rising in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, a few people have already passed away because of it.
When Sean was 14, he caught the flu which turned into pneumonia. He was young and thought he just had a cold so he literally waited and waited to go to the doctor. That resulted in an air lift to the hospital, a two week coma, life support and the big question to if he was going to make it.
Ever since he had been released from the hospital, his doctor told him that his immune system was weakened.
I mean, if you read my post on what happened with his cat bite Im sure you would understand.
 The Florida officials are saying that if your immune system is weak, don't get in the water. So for us, its not even worth the risk. Sure we don't have to get in the water but I know that neither one of us would be able to relax the entire weekend. I would flip out if the smallest bit of water even dropped on him.
So, we decided to cancel our trip. Yes, I shed some tears and I had a lot of anger built up because we had this trip booked since March. How can something that is planned so perfectly get ruined by a random flesh eating bacteria. I felt like it was a joke.
Selfish? Oh yes. I cant tell you how selfish I have felt this weekend.  Actually, feeling selfish and pretty dumb whining over it at all. I started to think to myself that we are incredibly blessed that we have read article after article and heard news after news about this bacteria. Yet, here I am complaining that our perfect little trip was canceled.
For now, I'm not sure what we are planning to do. I have looked at the mountains in NC all the way down to the east coast of St. Augustine. We may try to take another trip just as big as our Panama one or we may just take it easy and go to a nearby town a few hours away. Either way, I'm going to remember to think about the things that actually matter. Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in the material parts of life than the meaningful parts of life. To overthink the wedding than the marriage, to overthink the anniversary trip than the anniversary....
As angry and upset as I was feeling, this whole bacteria issue really put things in perspective for me. I have a husband who is healthy. We are about to finally celebrate our first year of marriage together, a milestone we had waited and waited on for many years of being engaged. An anniversary should not be about where we go on a trip. Its the fact that we are together and we are celebrating each other. I am thankful for the red flags literally being thrown at us because who knows what could have happened if we went without knowing anything was in the water.
God's hand was literally on us this weekend and the last thing I needed to do was complain.
So as I say again, I cant wait to celebrate one year with that man. Whether its 12 hours away or right at home, it will be one wonderful day with my other half.

August 1, 2014

August Goals.

August. Can you believeeee we are already in August??
 It just blows my mind because I remember New Years like it was yesterday. Although this year is literally flying by, we are approaching one of my favorite months that begins all my other favorite months. School will start back soon, Sean and I will be celebrating our one year anniversary, my toes will be in the sand with the huge ocean by my side, hiking trips, we will start to smell pumpkin pie, we wills see the colorful leaves, then BAM Christmas!!
so, so fast yall
I was taking a look back at my July goals and overall, I was pretty satisfied.

July Goals:
1. Read a random book
2. Continue to build our savings
3. Have a yard sale
4. Do a month long Bible study on Proverbs
5. Make a pack list and finish making plans for our anniversary trip in September!!!!
6. Continue with my wardrobe capsule ideas
7. Join a life group within our church
8. Take a day trip to the country
9. Create a new idea for a blog layout
10. Try leading a middle school girls ministry in our church
11. Continue to eat healthier meals
There were a few things I didn't get to but I can easily put them in with my August goals.
August Goals:
1. Read the Harry Potter series
2. Continue to meal plan
3. Do my first link up
4. Push myself to keep running
5. Make a pack list and finish making plans for our anniversary trip. NEXT MONTH!!!
6. Continue to build new ideas for a blog layout change
7. Expand my lipstick collection
8. Think upon the idea of starting sponsorships
9. Continue to grow in my photography
10. Study my Bible in a deeper way than before
So there we are. A fresh, new month.
Isn't there something about a new month that makes us extra cheerful inside?
August, I'm excited for you.